I met Kevin virtually through a mutual friend, we spoke on the phone and I instantly liked his vibrancy and his upbeat POV. That vetting led me to connect to him on LinkedIn and we have traded material and observations from time to time. I subscribe to his blog and after seeing one recent post I especially liked, I asked him to adapt it to my LinkedIn audience. The result, a most insightful piece, that I am pleased to present today as part of my series from Friday guest bloggers. Thanks, Kevin!
The Authenticity Advantage
Imagine someone contacts you are looking for your help in finding a person with a unique skill set? What do you do if you don’t immediately have a name pop into your mind?
Me? I go to LinkedIn and do a search of my first-degree connections and see who appears. LinkedIn is my giant, global Rolodex where I can search through millions of people in a nanosecond.
Recently, I used LinkedIn to help my son engage an awesome communications coach with a unique niche of coaching middle managers. Just last week, I used a LinkedIn search to help a friend locate a consultant with a unique set of skills.
When I sent her two names and contact info, she replied, “That’s great! Why didn’t I think of that?”
I don’t know; maybe she will next time. LinkedIn is my go-to source for finding people.
According to the latest data available from LinkedIn, the site now boasts more than 467,000,000 registered users.
Sadly, the profiles of most LinkedIn users stand out like vanilla in a sea of lily white. Oh did you miss that? You mean, you can’t read white text on a white background?
Here’s that sentence again. Most LinkedIn profiles stand out like vanilla in a sea of lily white. Most simply blend into the background. Nothing about their profiles stands out.
My best advice on how to stand out on LinkedIn?
BE YOU! Your authentic self. When you show up, even on a digital platform as your authentic self, suddenly you are ONE IN 467 million users, not just another one of 467,000,000.
There is no else exactly like you on LinkedIn. Rather than blending in with the masses, why not reveal part of your authentic self, so people get to see the real you?
How do you do that and still present a professional image? For starters, try one of these:
- Use LinkedIn as a conversation tool, not a megaphone. Talk to your reader, not at them. Remember, the people reading your profile are real people. When they are reading your profile, it is your opportunity to connect with them. To draw them in for a deeper look or invite to take the next step and contact you. So, engage them in a conversation.
- Let the real you shine in and through your profile. The summary is perhaps the best place to reveal some of your authentic self. Don’t write your summary as the objective at the top of your resume. Rather, use it as the door to invite others into a relationship and conversation with you. (Resist the urge to get overly clever with your professional headline as that impacts search results.)
- Be authentic with what you share via your posts. Practice affinity-based connecting. Allow people to see who you are and what energizes you. Please use decorum and remember that LinkedIn is a professional relationship site. (I’ll resist mounting that soapbox.)
Get in touch with your authentic self and let the rest of us get to know the awesome individual you are.